Uneasy Calm As Parties Expect Close Finish


CHANDIGARH – After successful polling for electing members of the 14th Vidhan Sabha, there is an uneasy calm among the candidates who will have to wait till March 6 to know their fate. But as the dust settles, it is becoming clearer that the results would see a razor fine finish between various contesting candidates and political parties, while throwing up several surprises.

In a multi-cornered contest, no political pundit is confident enough to predict the result. At the best, most experienced people, claiming to be psephologists, have been able to say “it appears to be advantage Congress” initially, but slight questioning makes them retreat and say “it’s very difficult to predict”. Politicians from all parties, however, are putting up a brave face and claim that their party will form the next government.

In the absence of any scientific tool to measure the outcome of the poll, the best guess of most is based on perceptions and that too on account of a feedback from a small sample. When you randomly stop your car and ask the roadside “dhabawala” who will win, you cannot say with certainty that the feedback you get represents the sentiment of a majority of the voters. Hence, the perditions in most cases are going to go haywire.

But there are various factors that are likely to impact the results. First of all, the Election commission did a good job of revising the electoral roles till the very end, taking out all the bogus or dead votes. This in practical terms means that the poll percentage is actually the true representation of the people who exercised their right to franchise.

In relative terms, the poll percentage this time at 78.67 is actually lower than the 2007 polls that recorded 75.47 per cent. How? The 2007 list contained names of “dead or non-existent” voters who had moved away. For example, out of 100 voters in the list in 2007, there were only 80 or 90 actual voters. This time, the list had names of actual voters due to updating till the last minute. So, as compared to 78 people voting out of 100 this time, 75 out of 80 or 90 people voted last time, which meant a higher turnout.